“Blocking additional costs for unpaid energy bills”: Melissa Depraetere (Vooruit)

    The federal government has already taken measures to protect purchasing power, such as automatic indexation, the extension of the social rate for 1 million families and the reduction of the VAT on energy to 6 percent. Soon there will be a basic heating package on top of that for working people who cannot enjoy the social rate.

    “Yet we see that a larger group of people can no longer pay the invoices. There are also additional costs because they cannot pay their bill. That is not possible for Vooruit: energy is an absolute basic supply and must be affordable for everyone,” says Melissa Depraetere.

    “Measures to prevent debt spiral”

    Vooruit therefore demands that the federal government takes measures to prevent and stop the debt spiral. Melissa Depraetere wants an increase in the unsecurable part of the wage garnishment. “It should also be considered whether this can be increased several times a year.” In addition, Vooruit wants to freeze the additional energy costs from the request for an installment plan to the installment. The party also has a bill ready to make the first payment reminder free.

    At bank KBC, consumers can temporarily go ‘below zero’, at an interest rate of 9.39 percent. “Such an advertisement pushes people deeper into misery”, responds Depraetere. She proposes to limit the interest rate ‘below zero’ to 5 percent for the next six months.

    The party also wants a deferral of payment of consumer and mortgage loans without additional costs, such as during the corona crisis.